With more than 24 million e-commerce stores competing for consumers’ attention, it is more important than ever to build a store brand that customers recognize, seek out and return to. Be one of the 2.5% making more than $1,000 in annual sales by clearly defining your target market, building a brand to attract them and catering to their buying trends.
Make no bones about it, building a brand is more than just creating a cool logo; it means developing customers’ confidence in your store and products. This takes time, strategic thinking, and using many different marketing skills to be a company consumers automatically think about when your product name enters a conversation.
Build a Store Brand
Starting a successful e-commerce store may not need a lot of money to begin with, but it does require a solid plan. Great brands have a positive foundation in how customers perceive the products, the customer service, and the overall image it represents. Think about the images that come to mind with Nike or Apple. These are two brands that have created a culture behind the logo for goal setting and minimalistic lifestyle respectively.
Ready to launch your own stellar print on demand brand?
Follow these 9 steps to build a store brand that customers rave about:
1. Build Your Customer Avatar and Target Audience
Take the time to really look at your customers and what their needs and desires are. Every great product serves a purpose in the market and different companies approach their positioning differently. You can become the go-to company that sells a specific product at a lower price than everyone else or you can be the premium provider of quality and service. You could conversely become the company that is known for luxury.
Realize that many customers are shopping online on places like Amazon or Walmart to get the lowest prices. If you can’t compete with your dropshipping business on price, you’ll need to determine how to create a desire for customers to want to shop with you. Your target audience is more than just age, gender and location; it involves what answer your product provides to them.
2. Develop a Company Voice and Personality
Successful e-commerce companies use a unique voice and personality in their marketing strategy. This could be in terms of using a mascot or spokesperson to create an image to buyers of what the company is about. Consider Mailchimp as a great example of a digital company using a mascot to help define the voice of the brand.
We all recognize the chimp from the logo; his name is Frederick von Chimpenheiver IV (Freddie for short). He signifies an intelligent, yet curious personality and was quickly embraced by employees and customers as a central part of the culture. Look for the right voice that comes across in your website pages, product descriptions, logo, and social media posts. Your consumers will gravitate to you if your voice is representative of them.
3. Choose a Business Name Representative of Something
There is a lot to be said for the name of your business because it is the first and last thing that your customers remember about your e-commerce brand. While you generally want to avoid generic business and product names when building a brand, you do need to think about what Google will spit out when customers search for the types of products your drop ship.
Google will give some credibility for a name such as “Best Smart Phones” (if you can get such a clear domain) but what about creating something unique and different. Apple originally had Sir Isaac Newton on the logo with the apple representing his out-of-the-box thinking. While it may not seem pertinent, it became part of the internal culture and vision that Steve Jobs sought and was simplified and redesigned to the minimalistic and tech nature of the company.
Use a Business Name Generator if you are stuck trying to find the perfect name that represents your brand. Play around with different ideas and test them with friends, family, and small business groups to see what resonates the best. You want the majority of people to feel good and understand what your company does when hearing the business name.
4. Establish a Color Scheme for Products and Website
Colors evoke emotions and the layout of your e-commerce brand starts with a logo, banner and font colors. Choose color combinations Depending on what you want your customers to feel when seeing your logo and website.
Consider the emotions behind these colors and brand ideas:
Yellow: Warmth and clarity
Orange: Confident and cheerful
Red: Bold and youthful
Purple: Wise and imaginative
Blue: Strong and dependable
Green: Healthy and growth
Gray: Calm and neutral
Colors are a great way to subtly attract your target audience and is a simple, but often overlooked, part of a good marketing strategy. Take the time to incorporate the right colors into your logo, your website, and all branded content so your customers recognize it and get the right subliminal messaging.
5. Build a Marketing Strategy Around Your Customers
Building a marketing strategy around your target customer may seem like it should go without saying. After all, if you have defined your product line in your dropshipping business, you should naturally speak to your target audience. This isn’t necessarily the case.
Think about a print on demand (POD) e-commerce brand. Selling t-shirts and hats can quickly become generic if you don’t have a message to your customers. A great e-commerce marketing strategy for a print on demand business would be to call customers to your tribe with your gear. In the same way that pro sports sell jerseys, your target audience should feel like you are inviting them into the club.
The results will be social proof of your brand excellence with comments and satisfied customers sharing pictures on social media. Increased social proof leads to increased followers and buyers. Document all those happy people and consider an online reputation management tool to help.
6. Survey Your Customers
Once you have your marketing strategy, don’t ignore your customers’ feedback. Read comments and reviews and take the time to survey your customers about what they like and what you can do better. Check with customers about what product offers they like and what new product items they would like to see.
Share new ideas and test the market with how your customers shop and buy new products. Not only will this help build the right product line within our company that customers want to buy, it helps you hear how the customers feel about your products as well as the brand. This further helping to modify your brand’s voice in your overall marketing strategy.
7. Connect Through E-commerce Marketing
If you are listening to the feedback of customers, then you hear how they speak and talk about your product. Use this valuable insight into building new e-commerce marketing campaigns that mirror what they say. If your customers are saying your products “save them time,” then you need to make this a top positioning statement in marketing.
If everyone raves about the speed of delivery, this is where you want to spend some time creating marketing ideas that speak and connect with your target audience. Connecting on social media is a great way to get engagement and speak directly to your potential customers. With that said, don’t ignore what you static ads say with the messages they convey.
8. Make Customer Service Priority
Customer service is one of the most important parts of customer retention strategies. Remember that is is always cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire one. Part of a great brand is customer service. REI has cornered the market when it comes to customer satisfaction with one of the most robust return policies you can find.
While not every successful e-commerce website can compete with this type of service and support, making sure you are responsive to customers goes a long way for positive customer reviews. Take what customers say to heart and make changes to build a stronger, more successful e-commerce store. As the founder of your company, customer service should be a top priority.
9. Monitor and Adjust Marketing as Needed
Great marketers know that every marketing strategy is only as good as it is monitored for results and tested against other strategies or messaging adjustments. Your business is reliant on your brand’s ability to grab the attention of your customers with marketing and then delivering on your promise.
Successful e-commerce brands can only be built with solid marketing followed by delivery of goods as advertised. The internet may be big with millions of other stores but it doesn’t take long for your e-commerce brand to get tainted with bad reviews and negative product or store comments.
Last Thoughts on Brand Building
Building a brand takes time and energy. You must think about how every word and image conveys a message to your prospects and existing customers. Great brands help build a community of people who use the brand to identify with that community. Apple, Nike, and Geico do a great job of this. Branding doesn’t happen overnight, but the work you put into the initial branding concepts are essential to building a recognizable brand that people want to buy from.